Package Design, Phase One: Launch

One of the projects I chose to do for the remainder of the semester is a package design project…

Last semester, I did this project as well. The objective was to bring in a tea box and study it, see who it was being marketed to, to deduce who the company was aiming for by looking at the graphics, text, and other details. I had brought in a variety box from Celestial Seasonings, and from the looks of it, Celestial Seasonings looks it’s marketed to the health-conscious.

For the project, we had to take the die-cut box apart. Completely! Then we had to trace that, and put our design on that, print it on cardstock, and assemble the new box.

Now, our professor required us to take the tea brands we each had, and market them to a different demographic. I like poking fun at market research and focus group-type things, and it’s often a little frustrating how they stereotype with the products they release. To me, good parody exaggerates the kind of thing you’re going for, while also making it funny, and somewhat believable as well. So I wanted to parody how focus groups see different demographics, how they stereotype, and how they generalizes… and make Celestial Seasonings for… A rough rural crowd. A complete generalization of those living in rural areas.

Celestial Seasonings became Slade Blackwater’s Backwoods Brews. It was tea for rough-and-tumble, gritty, truckin’ country folks! Yee-haw!


With the package, I felt I had achieved my goal: Make fun of what I was going after, but also making the product seem believable, like it could exist in this world in some way or another.

I wanted to take a shot at this kind of thing again, so I made a box of Pop-Tarts my next victim.


Instead of making up a similar pastry, I am able to switch that out with another product. A while back, while fooling around on my own on Illustrator during my winter break, I designed some random package labels. I’ve always liked package design, it intrigues me for some reason. Perhaps it’s because when I was younger, when surfing through the bonus features on my Pixar DVDs (like any animation fan would), I would come across clips that showed all the details the artists put into background objects that you barely see in the films, unless you pause them and took a good look…

The top row still image examples come from Toy Story 2. The bottom right comes from Finding Dory. This is just one set of many, for almost of all their films have these kinds of things. These made-up package have these sort-of established backstories to them. Just one look at them, these minuscule things you barely see in the films themselves, and you can tell these things have some kind of history. Almost like it’s their equivalent to ACME or something like that. Many modern animation studios using CGI do this sort of thing as well, but Pixar’s examples always stuck out to me.

Anyways, those kinds of things always got me interested in designing fake/mock packages for things. I’d often draw many myself, which were intended to appear in some of my own written works. In my typography class, one of our assignments was to design a menu, so I decided to go with the ridiculously Wild West-style restaurant one of my characters works for, and came up with all these unrealistic dishes.


I really have a thing for the West for some reason… Anyways, some mock-up food labels I made a few months back…

The one on the right is the one I want to go with. I want to refine that initial design and make it work on a Pop-Tarts snack box. When designing the original one, I was thinking of a street side vending machine or something like that. Now I want to translate that to a box, a take-home box you get at the store. For this project, I intend to push the design and establish enough of a backstory for this “Goobery Gobs” company, and keep some humor as well…

So it begins…


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